Week of Monday, April 26 ­– Sunday, May 2
Show and Tell – Man as an Instructor

In visions of God he brought me to the land of Israel, and set me down on a very high mountain, on which was a structure like a city to the south. When he brought me there, behold, there was a man whose appearance was like bronze, with a linen cord and a measuring reed in his hand. And he was standing in the gateway. And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart upon all that I shall show you, for you were brought here in order that I might show it to you. Declare all that you see to the house of Israel.”—Ezekiel 40:2-4 ESV

If you knew God wanted to show you something really special, what would you expect to see? When we think about some of the awe-inspiring things God does in the world, we typically think about things that fill us with wonder and amazement—the oceans, the mountains, the birth of a child, or even a spectacular athletic performance. So, if God were to reveal something to you, then you would probably expect it to be something jaw-dropping, pulse-pounding, and earth-shaking—something so incredible that you would bring it up in conversation again and again for the rest of your life. After all, the Bible tells us God parted the sea so that His people could escape Pharoah’s army, dropped miraculous manna from heaven, gushed life-giving water from a rock in the desert, caused Jericho’s mighty walls to fall down before Joshua, guided the shepherd boy’s stone that took out a giant, and made fire fall from heaven to consume Elijah’s water-soaked sacrifice in the presence of his enemies. And the most glorious event the world has ever known happened when Jesus died on the cross for our sin but three days later rose from the grave in triumph!

You might expect something amazing like that when you read here in Ezekiel 40 that God set Ezekiel on a very high mountain for the big moment. But that’s not what happens. Not at all! The rest of the chapter painstakingly details the measurements and design for a new Temple, all the way down to the door jambs. Huh? That’s what God wanted Ezekiel to see? What’s so amazing about that? All that measuring and recording of cubits might be a big deal to an architect or engineer, but Ezekiel was neither—just a priest and prophet. So, why would he care (and we care) about this laundry list of building materials, measurements, and designs?

Here’s why: God was showing Ezekiel the glory of Israel restored, the centerpiece of which was a new Temple, since the first one had been destroyed recently by the Babylonians. The point made by God to Ezekiel and to us is that for something to be glorious, it has to be done right. God’s desire was for His people to follow His design. Ezekiel’s task was to look, listen, and learn all that God showed him so that he could tell Israel everything God had revealed to him down to the last detail.

That’s our task, too. As instructors, God wants us to look, listen, and learn so that we can tell others everything He reveals to us in detail. The thing is, we are often guilty of overlooking the glory of God. At least I know that I am. When you are a big picture guy like I am, details are often hard for us to grasp. But the sooner we force ourselves to pay close attention to the details, the more quickly we will grasp the significance of what God is showing us. We want the soaring mountains or a sea parting or fire falling from heaven, but we forget that even in the minutia and seemingly mundane, God is showing us His glory. In fact, you were brought to this moment for that very purpose. This is the day that the Lord has made to show you His glory. Look around you at His work in the world, listen to Him in His word, learn what He wants to teach you, and then take what God shows you and tell your family and your battle buddies so they can see His glory and follow His design. God shows; you tell.

  • What is a seemingly minor, mundane situation in your life right now where God might be wanting to teach you something glorious?
  • What would it mean for you to start looking, listening, and learning in that situation? When you pray for something, do you look to see and listen to hear what God does next in your circumstances by way of answer?
  • What is something God has shown you lately? Who do you need to tell about it?